Fright or Flight

This show works not only because of the skill, bravado and relationships on stage, but because of a beautiful vulnerability.
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I’m standing in line at the woman’s loo after 3 Is a Crowd’s Fright or Flight at the Judith Wright Centre in Brisbane. One always knows when a show is good from the comments (or lack of them) made between cubicle walls: tonight it is ‘It was great to come out tonight for a bloody good laugh’ and ‘The best part was when she gave birth to an egg!’ and ‘I loved everything!’ – and I agree!

This is a fabulously pitched show, intricately woven together. Even before the performance begins, the atmosphere is beautiful in its simplicity: an extremely black stage with a gentle bird soundscape, the quiet ruptured by the entrance of three blindfolded women performing an ‘upbeat-beating -sequence’ (beating each other that is) much to the delight of their screaming audience.

The skills of all three performers are exceptional: Rockie Stone, Bianca Mackail and new-kid-on-the-block Olivia Porter know their stuff and more than that, know their audience. Seamlessly they weave together a variety of scenes that relate in some way to chickens. Such a tiny idea one would think, but think again. These three women absolutely transform into their own unique chicken at different times throughout the show. All of the performers have memorable moments and often at the same time. One such moment is when Olivia, sitting on the floor, winds up a host of baby mechanical chicks and lets them loose, while at the same time Bianca engages in an outrageous chook dance centre stage, white feathers flying everywhere. Meanwhile Rockie is transforming into a green legged (soon to be big breasted) woman who eventually will do startling acrobatics on a large hanging rope.

As I lean forward in my seat, enthralled, I am convinced that there is some extremely talented director behind all of this. Talking with Rockie after the show I find out that no, these three young circus performers are their own directors, with the occasional critical friend invited to come in and play.

This show works not only because of the skill, bravado and relationships on stage, but because of a beautiful vulnerability. These three could easily have done what many do, flaunt their youth, sexuality and beauty for laughs. What is so impressive is that they do not need to. Rather they communicate our human condition with clarity, joy and beauty.

Thank you 3 Is a Crowd, and have fun in Edinburgh! The company have just had a very successful Pozible fundraiser to take this production to the world’s largest Fringe festival and show off, just a little. They deserve it!

Score 4 ½ stars out of 5


Fright or Flight

3 is a Crowd

Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane

6 – 13 July


Margi Brown Ash
About the Author
Dr Margi Brown Ash is a theatre maker based in Brisbane and Sydney. She is also a lecturer, playwright and psychotherapist for artists. Her research focuses on healthy living for artists. and